Motley Crue called it quits back in 2016 with The End Farewell Tour. I have The End Deluxe Edition Tombstone set which I love and I have all their CDs (only missing a couple that will be remedied shortly. I was listening to them the other day and thought it was time to rank their Albums from Worst to First. As usual, I will keep it to strictly the Studio albums and will exclude greatest hits and live albums. However, I am going to include the Supersonic And Demonic Relics album which was a collection of rare songs and unreleased tracks. It isn’t a greatest hits collection and I think it stands out nicely on its own.
With all that being said, let’s get started…
10 – THE WORST – ‘THEATRE OF PAIN’ (1985):
The album was an utter disappointment after the first two. There was so much filler and not enough memorable songs. Yes, you have “Home Sweet Home” and “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” but the album felt lost. The band lost it’s edge of the last two albums and overall it was just lacking. There were a couple other good songs as I really liked “Tonight (We Need a Love)” and “Louder than Hell”. Outside of that it wasn’t the same band. Luckily, the regained that edge for the next release.
The album did well and sold over 4 million copies and went to #6 on Billboard. The success of the ballad “Home Sweet Home” was good enough to keep the momentum going and drive further success, but it is one of the albums I revisit the least.
9 – ‘Generation Swine’ (1997):
The first album after Vince Neil return to the band. For me, there is a lot wrong with this record. The band didn’t seem focused. The album songs were not that memorable and the biggest problem was the song “Shout at the Devil ’97”. Why is that a problem? The remake of the song is so damn good that you realize no other song on the album is anywhere near as good and then the album becomes a quick disappointment.
There are a couple bright spots such as “Afraid” and “Glitter” and even some left over songs with Corabi receiving credit, but in the long haul the album does not leave me wanting to go back very often and listen. Don’t get me wrong, I continue trying, but it still doesn’t connect with me in any way.
8 – ‘New Tattoo’ (2000):
From this point on there is not a bad album in the bunch. They do get a little better with each one, but I really like every single one from this point on. This album brought Crue back to a little of what I love about the band. Vince started to sound more like Vince after a disappointing ‘New Tattoo’. The songs were better and it sounded like Motley Crue. The top songs were “Hell or High Heels”, “New Tattoo”, “Porno Star” and the cover “White Dudes on Dope” among others.
The only negative is the drums didn’t sound like Tommy…well because it was Randy Castillo on the drum kit. I don’t mean the drums were bad, they weren’t. It just wasn’t Tommy’s feel and sound. However, there is something interesting about this album. Nikki started writing with James Michael who we all know is the lead singer of Nikki’s band to come Sixx A.M. Maybe that is why the songs were starting to sound better.
7 – ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ (1987):
After ‘Theatre of Pain’, the band could only go up and they did. They updated their style to be more biker-like and the sound was heavier and louder. The album took the band to a different level selling over 5 million copies and reaching #2 on the Billboard charts. The album was pure Rock & Roll. It was all about Sex, Drugs and the Rock & Roll lifestyle and brought to you all in a shiny little package. It was decadence!!
The songs were great including the title track “Girls, Girls, “Girls”, “Wild Side” and “You’re All I Need” as well as “All in the Name of…”. But the album did have it’s faults. The non-singles weren’t the strongest and I am not sure I enjoyed the cover of “Jailhouse Rock”, it seemed out of place on the album. Still a fantastic overall album though.
6 – ‘Supersonic and Demonic Relics’ (1999):
I know I am cheating as it is a compilation and not a studio album, but it isn’t a greatest hits compilation. It is rare tracks and previously unreleased tracks that also have various songs they have released not on any studio album. And let me tell you, it is a great set of songs and that is why it is here.
“Primal Scream” alone is enough to include it, but throw in “Teaser”, “Monsterous”, “Planet Boom”, “Bittersuite” and you have a collection of some missed out songs. Some of these songs are spread out on greatest hits album, but now all in one. Another highlight is the remix of “Hooligan’s Holiday” by Skinny Puppy and I love the demo of “Knock ’em Dead Kid”. If you don’t have this one, go out and grab it.
5 – ‘Saint of Los Angeles’ (2008):
Motley Crue’s final album and Damn! It was fantastic. The songs were great and let me tell you why. The songs were written all by Nikki Sixx and his new band Sixx A.M. This could have been Sixx A.M.’s second album, but it turned into a Crue album. It is a nice final piece in the catalog. Vince sounded great and in fact, the whole band did. The album is loosely based on the band’s book ‘The Dirt’ (which is being made into a movie) and is a great soundtrack for that book.
The songs “Saints of Los Angeles”, “Motherf##ker of the Year”, “This Ain’t a Love Song”, “White Trash Circus” and “Goin’ Out Swinging” are all great songs. I could list even more, but you get the point. It is a great album, I just like the next four a little better. I hate it is the last studio album, but it was a great way to go out. They did it on their terms and in their way.
4 – ‘DR. FEELGOOD’ (1989):
The band’s fifth album, their best selling album and their most well-received album of them all. It sold over 10 million copies and hit #1 on Billboard album charts. The band was newly sober and they showed they could still put together a great album. “Dr. Feelgood” is one of my favorite songs and the album just was solid from beginning to end.
Why it is down to #4, easy, the final 3 albums on the list have a little rawness to them that speaks to me more. Still, I love so many songs on this thing such as “Kickstart My Heart”, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”, “Without You” and “She Goes Down”. Really, from this point on you can’t really go wrong with anyone of these albums.
3 – ‘TOO FAST FOR LOVE’ (1982):
The debut album, “Too Fast For Love”, shot on to the scene and made people stand up and start to take notice. The album was originally released in 1981 under the band’s own label called Leathur Records, but the band finally signed with a major label, Elektra, and the band re-recorded the album and re-released it in 1982. The changed the track listing a little and removed one song called “Stick to Your Guns”. Either version would land this album this high for me.
I really think this was a stellar debut. The song “Live Wire” is one of my favorite Crue songs and when you add that with “Piece of Your Action” and “Too Fast for Love” you are in for a hellacious ride. I actually can’t think of a song I don’t like. As far as deep cuts, you have “Come On and Dance” and “Take Me to the Top” that show there is no filler on this beast.
2 – ‘Motley Crue’ (1994):
The only album that doesn’t feature Vince Neil on lead vocals. For a short time, Vince was out of the band and in came John Corabi to take over vocals. How can a non-Vince album be #2? Easy…it is a DAMN fine album. It is a definitively different Crue and Corabi takes them in a direction you didn’t expect. They sound more mature and more like a straight-up rock band.
This new dimension sadly didn’t sell well and Vince would come back. The band would go on to ignore this album, but there is no ignoring its brilliance. With such great songs as “Hooligan’s Holiday”, “Misunderstood” (with Glenn Hughes backing vocals) and “Uncle Jack”, you can’t go wrong. And don’t forget about “Power to the People” and “Smoke the Sky”. Hell, don’t forget any of it. If you ignored this album like the band, you truly missed out. Go check it out now!! And if you want, check out the new release by John Corabi called Live ’94 where he does the album live in its entirety.
#1 – ‘SHOUT AT THE DEVIL’ (1983):
The band came off their stellar debut and took it up a notch with this one. The album brought the band international success and went on to sell over 5 million copies. It wasn’t their most successful, but for me it was the one I kept going back to over and over since it’s release. The album only reached #17 on the Billboard charts; however, it ushered in a turning point in the Glam Rock movement.
The album had four singles including “Looks That Kill”, “Helter Skelter” (Beatles cover); “Shout at the Devil” and “Too Young to Fall in Love”, but that wasn’t the only good songs. You also had “Knock ‘Em Dead Kid”, “Ten Seconds to Love” and “Red Hot” to name just a few. The whole satanic feel added a bit of mystery to the band for me back in the day and probably added to their appeal (I wasn’t a satanist, but it fascinated me that people might not believe in God or didn’t like Him). They would go on to do more popular albums, but they never matched the dangerousness of this album again.
A little note: When I grabbed this video off Youtube to embed, it showed 666k views…Maybe they were satanists!!
And there you have it. This is my opinion and I know will differ from everyone else so let me know what you think and what order you might have some of the albums. Am I completely missing the boat because that does happen. I hope you enjoyed. If you want any of these albums or just to listen to them, click the buttons below…